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What Firearms Are Illegal For Hunting In Washington

Hunting is a popular outdoor activity that many people enjoy in Washington state.However,it is important for hunters to understand the firearms restrictions in place in order to comply with the law and ensure safety in the field.We will cover the topic of firearms that are illegal for hunting in Washington state,including the different restrictions on specific firearms,ammunition,and hunting practices.

Firearms restrictions in Washington state

a.Automatic firearms:It is illegal to hunt with a fully automatic firearm in Washington state.Fully automatic firearms,also known as machine guns,are capable of firing multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger.

b.Short-barreled rifles and shotguns:It is illegal to hunt with a short-barreled rifle or shotgun in Washington state.These firearms are defined as rifles or shotguns with barrels less than 16 inches in length or an overall length of less than 26 inches.

c.Silencers:It is illegal to use a silencer or suppressor on any firearm while hunting in Washington state.Silencers are devices that reduce the noise of a firearm when it is fired.

d.Tracer ammunition:It is illegal to use tracer ammunition while hunting in Washington state.Tracer ammunition contains a pyrotechnic charge that leaves a visible trail of smoke or fire to help the shooter track the bullet's path.

Additional hunting restrictions

a.Spotlighting:It is illegal to use a spotlight or other artificial light to locate or take game animals in Washington state.This practice,known as spotlighting,is illegal because it can blind animals and make them easy targets for hunters.

b.Baiting:It is illegal to use bait to attract game animals in Washington state.Baiting involves placing food or other attractants in an area to lure animals into a specific location.

c.High-powered rifles:While high-powered rifles are not illegal for hunting in Washington state,they are restricted in certain areas.In some parts of the state,hunters may only use shotguns,muzzleloaders,or specific types of rifles for hunting.

Obtaining a hunting license in Washington state

In order to legally hunt in Washington state,hunters must first obtain a hunting license.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife(WDFW)issues hunting licenses to residents and non-residents alike.To obtain a hunting license,hunters must meet the following requirements:

a.Age:Hunters must be at least 12 years old to hunt in Washington state.Those who are under 16 years old must be accompanied by a licensed adult while hunting.

b.Completion of hunter education:All first-time hunters in Washington state must complete a hunter education course before obtaining a hunting license.Hunter education courses are available online or in-person and cover topics such as firearms safety,wildlife management,and hunting ethics.

c.Purchase of a hunting license:Once hunters have completed the hunter education course,they can purchase a hunting license from the WDFW.Hunting licenses are available for different types of game animals,such as big game,small game,and migratory birds.The cost of a hunting license varies depending on the type of license and whether the hunter is a resident or non-resident.

Safe hunting practices

While hunting can be an enjoyable activity,it is important to practice safe hunting practices to prevent accidents and injuries.Some important safety tips for hunters include:

a.Familiarize yourself with your firearm:Before heading out on a hunting trip,make sure you are familiar with your firearm and how to operate it safely.

b.Wear appropriate clothing:Hunters should wear bright,visible clothing to help other hunters see them in the field.It is also important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

c.Know your target:Before taking a shot,make sure you have positively identified your target and are certain it is legal to hunt.

d.Practice safe firearm handling:Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction and treat it as if it is loaded.Never point your firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.

e.Follow hunting regulations:Hunters should always follow hunting regulations and be aware of any restrictions on the use of firearms or hunting practices in their area.


Hunting in Washington state can be a fun and rewarding experience,but it is important for hunters to be aware of the firearms restrictions in place and practice safe hunting practices to prevent accidents and injuries.By obtaining a hunting license,completing a hunter education course,and following hunting regulations,hunters can enjoy a legal and safe hunting experience in Washington state.